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    Read our FAQ and the legal stuff. Knowing your rights is VERY important.

The Northern Ireland guidelines

The Northern Ireland guidelines (or lack of).

To date, there are no guidelines published on Home Education bar what is written on ELB websites. These guidelines have been compiled without engagement with the NI Home Education community and can be misleading and interpreted beyond the law.

Educational Legislation:


Article 45 part 1 of the 1986 Education and Libraries (NI) Order
“The parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause him to receive efficient full time education suitable to his age, ability and aptitude and to any special educational needs he may have either by regular attendance at school or otherwise”

under Schedule 13 part 1 of the Education and Libraries (NI) Order 1986
“Where it appears to a board that a parent of compulsory school age in its area is failing to perform the duty imposed on him by Article 45 Part 1, the board shall serve on the parent a notice requiring him, within such a period not being less than fourteen days from the service of the notice as is specified in the notice, to satisfy the board that the child is, by regular attendance at school or otherwise, receiving efficient full-time education suitable to his age, ability and aptitude and to any special educational needs he may have”

– ELBs may use this piece of legislation as a means to actively encourage a parent to complete forms and accept visits. Making informal enquiries is quite different from demanding to visit or to inspect a child’s work. Using this legislation as a means to demand entry into your home or to see examples of your child/s work is acting beyond the law – refer to the NI sample letters as a means to deal with this.

– Sometimes prosecutions may take place but many of these involve truancy which is not related to Home Education. Both truancy and truancy caused by illness involves children who are registered at a school but who do not attend. Children who are not registered to a school cannot be accused of truancy.

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